Jun 12, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2009-2011 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2009-2011 [Archived Catalog]

University Profile, Vision, Mission, & History

Profile of Ohio University


Ohio University, established in 1804, was the first institution of higher education in the old Northwest Territory. The total enrollment on the Athens campus is approximately 20,000, while the regional campuses enroll more than 8,900 additional students. The present graduate enrollment is about 3,500, of whom 2,300 are full-time students. The full-time faculty numbers 1,056. There are more than 734 part-time faculty members and more than 1,500 graduate assistants, graduate staff assistants, graduate research assistants, and graduate teaching assistants.

On the graduate level, Ohio University offers master’s degrees in nearly all its major academic divisions and doctoral degrees in selected departments. The College of Osteopathic Medicine offers a four-year professional program leading to the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

The city of Athens is located about 75 miles southeast of Columbus. The University offers a wide range of cultural activities to the University community and all of southeastern Ohio. Lecturers, poets, singers, dancers, films, and theater or music groups appear frequently on campus. Many events are free, though some have nominal charges.

The University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and by the recognized professional accrediting associations identified with its major academic divisions. It holds membership in leading state and national educational and professional associations.

The University’s academic calendar consists of three quarters of 10 to 12 weeks and a summer session with two 5-week terms.

Vision Statement


Ohio University will be a nationally prominent research university recognized for the excellence of its faculty and the balance they strike between teaching and scholarship; for its students’ engagement in scholarship, leadership, and international education; for its extensive network of partnerships; for its diverse and inclusive campus; for its loyal and engaged alumni; and for its commitment to addressing society’s educational, economic, and cultural challenges.

Mission Statement


Ohio University is a public university providing a broad range of educational programs and services. As an academic community, Ohio University holds the intellectual and personal growth of the individual to be a central purpose. Its programs are designed to broaden perspectives, enrich awareness, deepen understanding, establish disciplined habits of thought, prepare for meaningful careers and, thus, to help develop individuals who are informed, responsible, productive citizens.



Ohio University was chartered by the State of Ohio in 1804 and is the oldest university in the Northwest Territory. Located in the scenic Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio, its classic residential campus is one of the most attractive in the nation. The charm of tree-lined brick walkways on the University’s College Green makes you feel as if you are at a small college rather than a large university. One can walk between most campus buildings within about 10 minutes.

It is possible to live a mile away from the University buildings in a residential neighborhood and walk to work, or to live on a farm within a 20 minute drive. The City of Athens is surrounded by a patchwork of hardwood forests that constitute the Wayne National Forest.

Ohio University is designated a Doctoral/Research-Extensive university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Only 125 schools-3.4 percent-of the 3,600 schools assessed by the Carnegie Foundation are classified as research universities. Others in the Doctoral/Research-Extensive classification include Auburn, Clemson, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Washington State. According to the Carnegie Foundation definition, a Doctoral/Research-Extensive university “offers a full range of baccalaureate programs, is committed to graduate education through the doctorate, and gives high priority to research.”

Ohio University’s roots are in post-Revolutionary War America. In 1786 a group of veterans petitioned Congress to purchase, through the Ohio Company of Associates, one-and-a-half million acres north and west of the Ohio River.

Revenue from two townships in the Ohio Company purchase was set aside for support of a university. In 1808 the University opened with three students, and in 1815 awarded its first two bachelor’s degrees.

The University graduated a total of only 145 students until after the Civil War. By 1920 it had 1,072 students, but it was not until after World War II that the University began to approach its present size.

In the 1950s the student population grew from 4,600 to 8,000, and the 1960s saw enrollment burgeon from about 10,000 to some 18,000 students on the Athens campus. In the early 1970s, during the Vietnam era, the student population fell below 13,000. Today the Athens campus serves over 19,000 students.

Since 1946 the University’s service as the major educational and cultural institution in southeastern Ohio has included regional campuses in Chillicothe, Ironton, Lancaster, St. Clairsville, and Zanesville. Today, the regional campuses collectively enroll over 8,000 students, making the full-time, part-time, and continuing education enrollment for Ohio University more than 28,000.

University expenditures total $359.1 million for all its campuses. Ohio University is the largest employer in Athens County, with an annual payroll of $183.1 million. The Athens campus consists of 1700 acres and 201 buildings.